Sunday, November 30, 2008

On the bright side, it's November 30

I'm sick.

Really sick.

My throat is like fire, my body aches from the neck down and I have a fever of around 100-degrees.

Pretty much EXACTLY what my kids had last week. I honestly don't have any energy for a post, but I did want to fulfill my National Blog Posting Month requirement and get something up on the last day.

As soon as I hit post on this, I'm going to bed.

Looking on the bright side:

1. At least it held off until after Thanksgiving and

2. Today is the last day in November, which means tomorrow, I can rest.

Happy end of NaBloPoMo everyone! Congrats to everyone who finished.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cat on a cold shingle roof

We have this cat.


Pretending to be a lioness

Saved from the arduous life of an alley cat when we lived 10 minutes outside New York City, she is still partly feral deep inside and demands outdoor privileges. She's also incredibly smart. As soon as it gets dark, she sits on the front step and waits to be let in. She knows that with the dark come predators (fox, raccoon and maybe even a coyote) that would love to either beat her up or have her for dinner.

However, if no one lets her in immediately, she climbs up onto the roof of the house for safety.

Now, our house is a ranch, so sections of the roof are not very far off the ground. She has no trouble getting up or down, but once she's up, she'll often sit up there, stubbornly, until someone I climb up to "rescue" her.

I'm not a tall girl. Five-three at best. To reach her, I have to stand on the wrought iron railing on the front step and balance there, holding the edge of the house with one hand while I fish around on the roof with the other trying to grab hold of the cat. Fishing around for her is not easy. She likes to make a game of staying just out of reach. This is really great fun for her. We're talking about an animal who tends to entertain herself by licking her own butt and chasing dust bunnies, so watching me do this is probably the equivalent of reality TV or the Superbowl for her.

Every time I do this - EVERY. TIME. - I think about how incredibly stupid it is. I'm balancing on a railing that's only a couple of inches wide. It really wouldn't take much to slip and take a nasty fall, breaking an arm or cracking my head open on the cement step below me.


I also know I could potentially lay out there bleeding for HOURS before Mark noticed I was gone, especially if he is in his own world on the computer. If that's the case, my presence may not be missed until morning, in which time I could bleed to death, or, at this time of year, freeze.


I can even see the headline: Woman bleeds to death on front step while husband surfs web

The subhead would be: Cat found unharmed

And yet, I cannot stop myself from climbing up on that railing. I don't know why. Probably because I've never even come close to losing my balance and falling. Also probably because I am a SUCKER when it comes to the animals and will do anything to get them inside the house where it's safe and warm at night.

What I probably need is a good scare. A near miss if you will. A slip that sends my heart pounding, but doesn't result in serious injury. Then, and only then, might I think twice about perching myself back up there. Right? Right?


OK. OK. We all know I'd still climb up there even after a scare. Maybe not immediately after. But at some point.


Maybe, instead of a new iPod I should ask for a ladder for Christmas. And then keep it right by the front door.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

The well-read meme

So Kate, from the very cool blog Sauciewee tagged me to participate in a really cool Bookworm Meme.


The rules are simple:
1. Find the nearest book and open it to page 46.
2. Write out the fifth sentence on that page, and also the next two to five sentences.
3. You must choose the closest book, not the coolest, or the one you think will sound the best. THE CLOSEST!!!

I've been in a book club for just under a year. For December, we wanted to read something short and light, so we selected Maya Angelou’s Letter to My Daughter and it was sitting right here on my desk not 18 inches from my laptop when I read that she tagged me.


I will say, it could be the world’s fastest read. It’s only 166 pages long and there are blank pages between chapters that count in the tally, so I’ve been whizzing right along. So far, I'm really enjoying it. Angelou is a phenomenal writer and very wise woman.

Page 46 is part of a chapter titled “Violence.”

The fifth sentence is:

He experiences the same vulgar rush as the flasher, save that his pleasure is not satisfied with brief shock, he has a surge and moves on to the deeper, more terrifying, invasion.

The next four lines are:

I am concerned that the pundits, who wish to shape our thinking and, subsequently, our laws, too often make rape an acceptable and even explainable social occurrence. If rape is merely about the possession of power, the search for and the exercising of power, we must simply understand and even forgive the natural human action of sex in the extreme. I believe that profanity directed at the victim of rape or equally lugubrious declarations of eternal love dribbled into the terrified victim’s ear, have less to do with power than with sexual indulgence. We must call the ravening act of rape, the bloody, heart-stopping, breath-snatching, bone-crushing act of violence, which it is.

So, how’s that for some fine writing?

I now know who (or what) I want to be when I grow up.

Feel free to play along on your own blog. And happy reading!

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Thursday, November 27, 2008


Today, in the midst of the hustle and bustle, the preparations, the cleaning, the cooking, the eating and the socializing, they came to me.

One rushes to me from the end of the hall – arms outstretched, a wide smile, feet racing, hair flying back from her face. I bend and scoop her up and up, tossing and catching her. I bring her close to me. She wraps her arms around my neck and squeezes. I walk with her and she whispers in my ear. She pats my cheek with her hand, then plants a smooshy kiss on my cheek.

The other stands before me, arms reaching up. Enormous eyes and an air of desperation. She says nothing, but stands before me – a ballerina balancing on her toes. Her expression pleads, “pick me up, pick me up,” so I do and I sway with her on my hip. She rests her head on my shoulder. I hold her close.

Similar scenes repeat throughout the day. One races to me and curls into my lap while I sit at the table. The other takes my hand and places it, gently, against her cheek, looking up at me with pure adoration.

My God, I am so blessed. So loved. So thankful.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

See how they grow

Every year at Thanksgiving, I like to look back and see how much my kids have grown over the last year.

The difference between 2006 and 2007 was striking, but looking back at last year, notsomuch.

Here they are, last Thanksgiving Day:

Before dinner, dressed in the Pilgrim and Indian costumes they made at school.

Thanksgiving last year: the pilgrim & the Indian

Right before our first guests arrived.

Thanksgiving 2007

I'm sort of relieved to see this. I know they're going to be all grown up before I know it, but maybe it's not happening quite as quickly as it sometimes seems.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

An A for effort

Peanut is still sick. And, of course, like clockwork, Loaf now has the same thing.

They are feverish and cranky and scratchy-throated. The last two days, we've let them lounge on the couch watching way more TV than normal - movie after movie.

Yesterday morning while I was at work, Mark set them up with Cars, which may be the longest children's movie ever made. When it was over, he turned off the TV and offered to read to them for a while. But Peanut, recognizing this was way out of pattern and wanting to take full advantage of it, kept asking for another show.

"After lunch," he explained, "you can watch another one."

Without missing a beat she asked, "Can I have lunch?"

Time: 10:23 a.m.

Nice try.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

I must remember not to forget this one

I don’t have a great memory. If I don’t write it down, put it on my calendar and/or send myself a reminder, it will most definitely be forgotten.

Lately, I’ve been even more scattered than usual. Last week, I brought the girls to school without their school bags or lunches. I didn’t even realize it until I pulled into the parking lot and realized they were not in the car. Smacking myself on the forehead, I declared, “Good Lord, I am getting old. I can’t remember anything anymore.”

Then I marched the girls to their classrooms, got back in the car, drove back home, got the bags and dropped them off at school. And that was the last I thought about it. The incident was, well, forgotten, if you will.

* * *
Flash forward to this weekend: Peanut found a bright pink stuffed horse that she wanted. Really badly. I told her we weren’t buying it, but that Santa was coming in a few weeks and he was watching and would remember it when it came time to bring her presents.

“But mommy, what if he forgets?”

“He won’t forget,” I promised. “He has a good memory.”

“But he might. He’s really, really old after all – almost as old as you and you’re always forgetting stuff.”


::Note to self: no more self-deprecating age jokes in front of the children::

(And yes, I’m writing that down. Right. Here.)

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

What did I forget to do yesterday?

Hmmm, so let's see . . .

20, 21, . . . 23?

Yup. I missed my post yesterday.


It was just one of those things.

We met some friends in Woodstock, NY for the day. It was freeeeeezzzing. Like 25-degrees with a wind chill putting it close to zero. Being outside for even a few minutes was miserable, so we kept ducking into stores. Four children underage 5 in almost any kind of store? Almost as miserable as being outside in the tundra. Especially because in Woodstock is filled with small, breakable things. Except the bookstore where we spent as much time as possible probably driving the poor woman at the counter crazy.

But through it all, every now and then I'd think, Yeah! At least I have something to write about tonight!

Then Peanut cracked a fever out of the blue and got all lethargic and glassy-eyed. But everyone else was starving, so we decided to just have an early dinner and call it a day. On route to the restaurant, Peanut and one of our friends' sons fell asleep, so we drove for a while along the Hudson River. (So pretty).

Around 5:30 p.m. we walked into the restaurant.


We didn't get our food for over an hour, during which time all three of the awake children (poor little sick Peanut snoozed on my lap in the booth the whole time) took turns driving their parents batshit crazy. When the food arrived, we were all hungry enough to eat anything, so for about four-and-a-half minutes, there was peace at our table.

Then the kids finished eating.

We wolfed down the rest of our food, hurriedly paid our check and hightailed it out of dodge.

And again I thought, Yeah! I have something to write about tonight!

EXCEPT, when we got home, my stomach rebelled in a huge way and without going into too the graphic details, the bathroom and I got to know each other a little better. And by the time that passed, I was a zombie. To put it simply: I was just too worn out. And I forgot.

Eh. So there go my chances for winning the NaBloPoMo Lifetime Achievement Award. It could be worse. I could have woken up today and found myself in the movie Groundhog Day, doomed to repeat yesterday over and over and over until I got it right.


Before I sign off, I have two recommendations for you if you're ever in the vicinity of Woodstock or Saugerties.

First, Lucky Chocolates in Saugerties. Everything there is good, but the passionfruit truffle? Oh. My. God. It's sex in a quarter-inch square. Oh and they ship! Great holiday gift, people!

Second, The Craftspeople, in West Hurley. Gorgeous, handmade pottery, jewelry, glass, clothing, candles, etc. and the proprietors are wonderfully warm, offering up a glass of wine or hot cider to each patron. A bit off the beaten path, but well worth the trip.

Just be sure to dress really warmly if you go in the winter. :-)

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Haiku Friday: The day the music died

For Christmas in 2004, Mark bought me a 20GB (now quaintly referred to as a “Classic.”) iPod. It was one of my favorite Christmas gifts ever. My iPod and I went everywhere together. I listened to NPR and Lost podcasts on it, danced around my living room with it, sang along with my girls to endless Disney songs on it and, until it was replaced with a Shuffle last year, hauled it around the gym with me.

It took a number of spills off the treadmill, was thrown across the room by Loaf, stepped on (by me) and accidentally left in the backyard for three days. And still, my little iPod Classic that was only “supposed” to last a year or two kept on playing. Until yesterday when it suddenly and peacefully died of natural hard-drive related causes. It’s only symptoms were an ominous whirring, failure to load my menus and then . . the dreaded screen of death.

It was a sad day so I turned to Haiku for comfort. I like to think my iPod had a good life and knew it was loved. Please send my little Classic your good thoughts today.

Haiku Friday

Haiku Friday

Dear old loved iPod
So many great tunes we shared
Now screen of death - sad

Hard drive whirs and whirs
But no menus come on screen
Don’t leave me iPod

Classic twenty gig
You brought music to my ears
Now good paperweight

Hit reset button
Six hundred fifty-two times
iPod death confirmed

Life without iPod
Silent quiet musicless
Time to get iPhone

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Keep your bias to yourself, please

It must be really hard to be a racist here in America right now.

Think about it. To have to sit around watching large numbers of people rejoice over the first black president when you think people like him should still be picking cotton in chains. Tough times, right?

To see a black man become president and the country - hell, the whole world rejoice. You must feel pretty dejected and out of sorts right about now, hey?

Just to be clear, I don’t feel even an ounce of sympathy for America’s racists. It’s their own problem that they’ve opted to cocoon themselves in hate and bigotry while the rest of the world inches toward acceptance and equality (not that we’re there yet - I realize that - but any progress is good progress).

It’s just that lately I’ve seen some really malicious, racist stuff shuttled around the net and I have to assume it stems from all those disappointed racists trying to find a way to cope. Some examples:

- An image of the “new” dollar featuring a smiling man in black face in the center and “fitty cent” written in the corner.
- The Obama trap – again – this time from someone else.
- An e-mail pondering if it can still legitimately be called the White House and if legalizing marijuana and/or making fried chicken America’s official food will be among Obama’s first acts.

I have to scratch my head when I get stuff like this, especially when it comes from otherwise smart, respectable people that I know. People, who I’m pretty sure aren’t racist, but still seem unable to avoid hitting the “forward” button on their e-mail when this type of bigotry lands in their inbox.

I have to ask: Do you really find this stuff funny? Amusing? Entertaining?

Because honestly, I don’t.

And if you think I think like that, you’re really very, very mistaken. It’s not just about Obama for me. I was raised in a home where I learned, in the famous words of Martin Luther King Jr., people are to be judged, “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

So please – PLEASE – stop sending me your hate. I don’t like it, I don’t want it. It doesn’t make me smile or laugh for even one fraction of a second, in fact, it makes me nauseous. Furthermore, it makes you look like an asshole.

If you do send it to me, you can be pretty sure I’m going to, 1. Respond to you with some choice words, and 2. Delete it immediately. The buck bias stops here.

And besides? I’m sure there are plenty of dejected racists in this country looking for something to laugh about right now. Go find them and you can console each other.

Don't expect any sympathy from me.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Mirror, mirror on the . . . floor

Three years ago, on a day I was working, my husband took a fun series of photos of Loaf (then only 7-months-old) looking at herself in a mirror. I did not have a blog back then, so here they are now:







And here’s one of Peanut, taken the same month (she was 2), just so she doesn’t feel left out:

The big girl, when she was little

Click here to see who else is wordless today.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Dear Age 3:

I am writing to let you know that I am officially revoking your title of, “Most Annoying Childhood Age Ever.”

I know you worked really hard to get that title, but at the time I bestowed it on you I was a naïve mother who thought the worst she’d face (pre-teenage years) would come in the form of some of your most irritating qualities, these being (but not limited to): tantrums, whining, assertions of independence, public meltdowns and defiance.

However, in recent weeks, I have come to better know the back-talking, belligerent, full-of-piss and ATTITUDE that is Age 5. To be frank, I now understand that in terms of exasperating characteristics, you, Age 3 are an amateur. Sorry.

I have been especially impressed with Age 5’s ‘Tude. I must say, I thought you gave me a good run for your money with the, “NOs!” and the, “You can’t make me’s,” but at least these statements were said in somewhat normal tones of voice and not in the snotty, “I. Don’t. WANT. To,” inflection that Age 5 has mastered, complete with hands on hips and a healthy "HUMPH!" at the end for good measure.

And I can’t even begin to guess where Age 5 learned such a horrendous manner of speaking. Oh! Wait! Yes I can. OTHER SNOTTY FIVE YEAR OLDS.

While you have been officially demoted, I must note that I am impressed with your ability to learn. Since hanging around with Age 5, you have started picking up some of Age 5’s more maddening qualities, including the aforementioned ‘Tude.

I was especially amazed by yesterday’s 20-minute tantrum featuring repetition of Age 5’s trademark, “I. Don’t. WANT. To.” 139 times. Awesome.

I hope you are not angry over this demotion and that you will take it in stride. I think we both must chalk this up to a learning experience. I’m sure there will be many more in the next few years.

I will say, Age 3, while you are no longer the Most Annoying Childhood Age Ever, I still will not be sad to see you exit my home in a few months. For the most part, Age 4 was a happy reprieve and I’m thrilled to note that the transition from Age 3 to Age 4 is already beginning. Perhaps, in light of this demotion, you’d like to completely fade from the scene now instead of hanging out until April. I think that would be best for everyone involved. Why beat a dead mom horse, if you know what I mean?

Good luck and godspeed to you.



PS – Age 5, don’t go getting too much of an ego over this. You may be tough, but you’re still no match for me. And besides? Who knows what Age 6 has in store . . .

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Monday, November 17, 2008

A new day dawns (at dawn)

5:38 a.m.

Footsteps coming up the hall.

I roll over to face the doorway to my bedroom and Loaf appears there.

She wobbles over to the bed and climbs up next to me.

I wrap my arms around her, pulling her closer to the center of the bed.

We lie there – silent. My thoughts fade and I drift toward sleep again.

What seems like mere minutes later, she is on her knees, bouncing up and down near the pillow.

“Loaf,” I hiss. “It is still very early and I would like to sleep. If you want to, you can go down to your sister's room (she’s been up for at least 30 minutes) and play with her. But if you want to stay here, you have to lie down and be quiet.”

“OK, Mommy,” she says, flattening against the mattress and becoming still again.

Again, I drift.

Minutes later – or so it seems - she is jerking her head from side to side and neighing like a horse.


I repeat – more succinctly this time – my diatribe.

“Sorry, Mommy,” she says, rolling toward me. “I be quiet now.”

I am beyond irritated. I’ve been up late all weekend long and Just. Want. To. Sleep. I open my mouth to order her down the hall when she does it: She rolls over and plants a loud kiss on my cheek.

“Mommy, I love you sooooo much.”

My anger instantly melts away. I keep my eyes closed, but a huge smile crosses my face. I reach for her and pull her to me.

“I love you too,” I murmur.

We lounge like that, wrapped around each other, for a short while more. This time, when she starts flopping around, I open my eyes and ask if she’d like to get up and have breakfast. She throws her arms around my neck and happily declares, “Oh yes! I so hungry.”

It is 6:17 a.m. and I am up for the day. Exhausted, but happy. Sleep deprived, but so full of love I am practically floating.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday sickies

Sunday night and my stomach is flip-flopping and flop-flipping, my throat feels like sandpaper and my head is pa-pa-pounding. So instead of torturing myself, I'm going to bed.

And for everyone participating in National Blog Posting Month, today is Nov. 16th! You’re more than halfway there, baby! Keep-a-posting!

14 more days. 14 more days.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

And then there was silence

Soft skin. Deep breathes.
Chest rises and falls slowly.
Lashes curl. Cheeks rosy pink.
Hair falls gently into eyes.
Total, complete peace.

I think there may be nothing as beautiful as a sleeping child.*

*Especially if you are her parents. Shhhhhh.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Super secret name game

I'm finding National Blog Posting Month a lot more difficult this year than I have previously. Other than being completely exhausted, swamped at work, exercising like crazy and fighting a cold for the last 10 days, I just can't think of a reason why I can't sit down and write awesomely creative, hysterical and/or moving posts every single night. <--Sarcasm

I think I've had one post I'm proud of so far this month (maybe two) and the rest have been fluff. ::sigh::

So in keeping with that theme, I am stealing this meme from Mayberry Mom to fill today's requirement. I'm hoping to deliver better content next week if I have to sit here until midnight swilling vodka to make it happen. <---Could get very interesting

Here are all of my secret names. The codes to get them can be found below. Enjoy and feel free to play along on your own blog.

1. ROCK STAR NAME: Chit Chat Odyssey

2. GANGSTA NAME: Chocolate Mary-Jane


4. SUPERHERO NAME: Purple Mojito

5. NASCAR NAME: James Ray (Or Ray James?)

6. STRIPPER NAME: Jasmine Twix

7. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: Herzig Helsinki

8. SPY NAME: Autumn Daisy

9. CARTOON NAME: Strawberry Slippers

10. HIPPIE NAME: Oatmeal Willow

If you want to play, here's how:

1. first pet, current car
2. fave ice cream flavor, favorite type of shoe
3. favorite color, favorite animal
4. 2nd favorite color, favorite drink
5. the first names of your grandfathers
6. the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy
7. 5th grade teacher's last name, name of city that starts with the same letter
8. your favorite season/holiday, flower
9. favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now
10. what you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

The fine art of negotiation

Today, Mark asked the girls to pick up their rooms. Repeatedly. They did not. So, they lost their after-dinner treat, as well as their nightly TV show. (If you've been following along at home, you may realize Peanut has been losing them a lot lately.

So after dinner, she asked for her treat.

Mark: No, I'm sorry, you lost your treat when you refused to pick up your room.

Peanut: But I waaaaannnntt it.

Mark: No, sorry. Remember this next time I ask you to clean up your mess.

Peanut: Well, then I'm not going to let you have your treat.

Mark: I'm afraid you're not in charge of that. Now why don't you tell me what book you'd like to read tonight.

Peanut: I'm not going to tell you until you give me my treat!

Mark: Well, then I guess I'll just have to live without that information.

Peanut: Well, I'm just not talking to you at all anymore because you won't give me my treat.

Hello? LSAT people? Exactly how old do you need to be to take that test?

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: How rude!


This pony kept sticking its tongue out at us

We went to a local farm recently and they were giving pony rides. My girls were thrilled, but this one pony was so funny. It kept sticking its tongue out at us. Rude!

And a couple of shots of the girls on the pony:

Look how happy she is.

How far down is that?

Click here to see who else is wordless today.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just words, just post, just hope

This very talented blogger nominated this post of mine for an October Just Post, which is a monthly round up of posts about activism and social justice. (Wow!)


And she also wrote a fantastic post of her own recently. Go check out her blog; you won't be sorry!

On a somewhat related note, Mark took the girls to the library about a week and a half ago, and they came home with this amazing book called This is the Dream, by Diane Z. Shore and Jessica Alexander.

Tonight is the first time I had a chance to read it to them, and I found myself choking back tears. It's a pretty poignant book as it is. The illustrations in the first half of the book depict White/Colored water fountains, schools, restaurants and libraries. The middle of the book features images from the Civil Rights movement - the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the early days of school integration and, of course, marches lead by Martin Luther King, Jr. And the final section of the book shows scenes from modern day America: blacks and whites eating and learning together.

Reading this book one week after America elected it's first black president is, in a word, extraordinary. It is difficult to look through this book without reflecting on the struggles of so many, not so long ago. Their marches, protests, sit-ins and speeches helped carve Obama's path to the White House - a path that just 30 years ago (hell, just 10 years ago), seemed impossible.

Yes, there is still rampant racism in America. Yes, this country still has a very long way to go. But last week's election results are a huge step in the right direction.

I remain proud, joyful and hopeful about what the future will bring. And thankful to those who paved the way.

Rosa sat, so Martin could walk…
Martin walked, so Obama could run…
Obama ran, so our children can fly.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Next mood swing in 10.6 seconds

Peanut, is still waking up early. Overall, she's handling it well, but when she loses it - she REALLY loses it.

After school today, she lost it. It started when she didn't want to leave school. A group of mothers were standing around chatting about something I don't know or care anything about and the kids from the class were running around the school's Great Room, playing tag and racing.

I wanted to leave. Peanut did not.

Out in the car, she bucked in her car seat and thrashed, folding her arms tightly across her chest making it difficult to fasten the straps. It was like trying to stuff an octopus into a sack. Every time I got one limb under control, another came out of nowhere to undo what I'd just done. I finally got her buckled in, but in the process, both of her shoes fell off.

As we pulled away, she started screaming at me to stop and put her shoes back on. Ummmm, no. Last I checked, I don't take orders from 5-year-olds.

Suddenly, something whizzed by my head and banged - loudly - into the dashboard in front of me. It scared the ever-loving crap out of me. Picking it up off the floor, I realized it was a pink plastic Fisher-Price unicorn.

And then, I lost it. Within 15 seconds, she lost her show, her treat, and I threatened to not let her go to ballet class tomorrow.

When we got home, she sobbed and sulked for a while and then (at her father's insistence) apologized and gave me hug. Within seconds of that, she was my happy, carefree, smiling girl again. The incident forgiven and forgotten. Moments later, she was skipping down the hall with her sister, their laughter trailing behind them.

I sat at my desk exhausted and rethinking the whole thing. If her moods swing like this now, what's she going to be like at 13? or 16?

I've concluded that I'm in serious trouble when the hormones kick in. At least I've got plenty of warning.

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

The devil is in the details

Peanut: Mommy, is a pumpkin a fruit?

Me: Yes, it is.

Peanut: Is it also a plant?

Me: Yes, all fruits are plants. So are all the vegetables and all the flowers, trees, bushes, grass and anything else growing outside in the ground.

Peanut: All the stuff growing outside?

Me: Yep. But we also have some plants inside. I have lots of potted plants throughout the house.

Peanut: Oh. You have lots of pot plants?

::In a flash, my mind runs through the endless list of people - her teacher, other mothers at the school, family members, the school's director - to whom I don't want her blabbing about Mommy's non-existent pot plants.::

Me: NO! No, no. Not pot plants. PottED plants. Plants in pots. Mommy does not have pot plants, OK? PottED plants.

Peanut: Ooooooh.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

I love my sister sooooo much*

Sisterly love

*For the moment.

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Friday, November 07, 2008


I sit on her bed with her. She is nuzzled against me – back pressed against my ribs. My arm wraps around her, holding a book in front of us. Her tiny hand rests on my forearm. I read the words to her bedtime story. Glancing at her profile, I can see her eyelids growing heavy, each blink slowing to half time.

At the end of the story, I close the book and place a kiss on top of her head.

“Time for bed,” I say, and she turns away from me and places her head on her pillow.

“You get your book?” she asks, her code for “stay with me until I fall asleep.”

I tell her I left my book in the car, but that I’ll sit with her until she falls asleep. She wraps her petite fingers around my index finger and pulls it close to her face. Before closing her eyes, she looks into mine and flashes me a huge ear-to-ear smile, clearly thrilled to have me close to her.

My heart soars.

“Good night, Mama,” she says, closing her eyes and stroking her cheek with my finger.

Within minutes, she is asleep. Her chest rises and falls softly.

There is nothing keeping me here in this room now. I could get up any time. Work that I have to do beckons from the other room. There are still dishes to do, a blog post to write, my lunch to make. E-mails to return. Toys to pick up.

But I sit – transfixed – at the edge of her bed. There is no sound other than the slow rhythm of her breathing.

There is only her. And me.

I study her features. The endless lashes. The pink flush of her cheeks. The curls. Her rosebud lips. The blue web of veins that run under porcelain skin. The tiny fingernails. Each part is so miniscule, so perfect.

I continue to sit and watch. Spellbound. Amazed by how someone so small could cause such huge, endless love. And so, so thankful to be the recipient of it.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

The tree giveth, the tree taketh away

While reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein today:

Me: Once there was a tree . . . and she loved a little boy. And every day the boy would come.”

And then Peanut interjects: “He went to her every day instead of going to school and he didn’t learn to read so he couldn’t get a job and was very angry and had to sell her apples and chop her down for a house. The end.”


That certainly puts a new twist on that one, does it not?

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: YES WE DID!


Click here to see who else is wordless today.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

How are you feeling today?

Did you vote? How are you feeling?

Personally, I'm a mix of elation, fear, joy and jitters. I hope we don't have to wait too long for the results.

Here's a cool site that let's you enter a key word about your state of mind regarding today's election and then see what the most popular key words are from other people.

Also, Starbucks is giving out free coffee to anyone who voted. There's a reason for everyone to get out, vote and feel good about it.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

I do declare, tomorrow is Election Day

For well over a year, the nation has anxiously watched. Waiting. Waiting for the opportunity to choose new leadership.

Waiting for Election Day 2008.

Waiting for tomorrow.

On the eve of what will be an historic day either way, my heart pounds, my head swirls, my nerves twitch, and my stomach does flip-flops. I put my stake in the ground early on. I declared my preference. Tomorrow, I will make it official.

I hope you will do the same – no matter what side of the fence you sit on. Voting is a right - a privilege - that people have died to give you. All around the globe, others still fight and die for the right so many of us take for granted, or worse, ignore.

Tomorrow, please vote. Let your voice be heard. Declare yourself:

Oh, and incase you haven't noticed, I'm doing this again this year. (It was probably obvious, because I think the last time I posted three days in a row was during NaBloPoMo last November. Eeep.)

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween is over: Want to hear something really scary?

Friday was Halloween – the time when ghosts and goblins roam the earth and the souls of the departed return to frolic with (and frighten) the living. Oooh. Spooky.

But here in the Gav household we have our own version of fright fest ’08 going on.

Peanut is a notoriously early riser. I can probably count on one hand the number of times she’s slept past 6:30 a.m. in her entire life and on most of those days she was sick. But lately, the problem has gotten decidedly worse.

For the last 10 days or so, she’s been waking before 5 a.m. ←That is not a typo. This morning, I wandered down the hall at 5:03 a.m. and noticed her light was on. Peeking through the crack of her closed door, I saw her sitting on her bed surrounded by Barbie dolls and clothes, deep in an elaborate pretend scenario. In other words, she’d been up for quite a while.

Then it hit me, it wasn’t really 5:03 a.m. We didn’t change the clocks before bed last night, so it was actually 4:03 a.m., which – HOLY MOTHER OF GOD WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU DOING UP?

Every year, it is the same story. I dread with every fiber of my being the fall changing of the clocks. Unlike the rest of the world, Peanut never adjusts. Her internal “wake up now” clock stays set at the same time of day all year. She rises at 4 a.m., succumbs to exhaustion becoming utterly unbearable around 4:30 or 5 p.m. and can barely stay awake to eat dinner.

It’s a vicious cycle: wake early, zombie walk through the late afternoon, meltdown, pass out before dinner. Repeat. All. Winter. Long.

Tonight — after a meltdown of EPIC proportions where I actually contemplated calling in an exorcist to rid my home of the demon child thrashing, screeching and kicking at me in the bathroom for well over 15 minutes — she crashed face down on the chair in our bedroom and is still there.

I have no doubt she’ll be up around 4 a.m.

Kill. Me. Now.

The only hope I have is that maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to keep her up until 8:30 or 9 a.m. one night and if so, maybe (fingers crossed) she’ll get pushed back to waking up at 5 a.m. (And you know it’s bad when you’re hoping your child “sleeps in” until 5 a.m.)

I fully blame her father for this. Mark is also a ridiculously early riser. Many a morning I roll over at 4:30 or 5 a.m. to find him already out of bed and if I listen carefully, I can hear him clicking away on the computer down the hall.

At least for the next several months, he’ll have someone to hang out with.

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween: The official recap

I can't believe Halloween has come and gone. Where is 2008 going?

We had a fun day, even though Loaf woke up with a nasty cold - poor thing.

The Gav family's Halloween by the numbers:
Time Peanut woke up: 4:49 a.m.
Time Loaf woke up: 5:35 a.m.
Number of cupcakes eaten (by me): 1
Tissues used: 872
Parades attended: 1
Photos taken: 43
Number of times I was asked, "is it time to go trick-or-treating yet?": 1,493
Costume changes (by Peanut): 2
Matches used to light three jack-o-lanterns: 8 (really! It was breezy)
Time spent trick-or-treating before they collapsed in exhaustion: 45 minutes

Here are a few photos:

The cowgirl and the horse, ready for the school parade
Loaf told everyone her costume was "Black Beauty," even though it's clearly a brown horse. Whatever makes you happy, kiddo.

Love the expression here

Trick-or-treat at night
Peanut decided to forgo the cowgirl costume (which was so cute) and transform into a princess for trick-or-treat. Which was just soooo much easier to walk in at night. <--Sacrasm

All set to go

Hitting up this house for more treats


My mom came down from Massachusetts to trick-or-treat with us

Me, the girls and my mom

And here's our whole family, including two VERY tired girls

Our little family

Hope you all had a GREAT Halloween!

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